Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mind Mapping For Dummies

     When I was working as a writing specialist at the grade school we often used webs to connect ideas about what we were learning and to brainstorm.  Later, when I returned to complete my college degree I found webbing very useful for taking notes and researching.  In the last several years I have seen webbing morph along with our technology into complicated mind map templates where you just fill in the blanks and then the ideas are indexed.  # brake squealing    Sounds an awful lot like outlining to me.

     What's the deal?  Webs are random, that's what I liked about them.
It's a conspiracy. It's those darn organizers and compulsive arrangers of anything random who have corrupted the whole beauty of the original web. They have even changed the name to "Graphic Organizer".
They were called webs for a reason,  because just like each spider-web differs from another these are unique to each creator.  Drawn to reflect ideas as his mind sees them.  We random thinkers had found a method to our madness.  If you just fill in the blanks I think you are missing the whole point.  Webs were created for those of us who when confined to the structure of an outline blank out completely. 

So here's to the purity of the original web. Here's to a blank piece of paper and a handful of crayons. Here's to getting away from the computer, laying on the floor and really getting messy. How about some glue and scissors and paint. Yeah, now that's more like it!

Here are a few examples of what I mean.
Increase Creativity With Mind Maps
Design Characters Using Mind Maps

If however, the idea of a more structured web intrigues you, here are some links you may be interested in. 

Mind Mapping To Prepare For a Novel
How I Use a Mind Map To Build Stories
Mind Mapping
Write a Fiction Story or Book 

So which are you? Crayons or Keyboard?


  1. When I home schooled my granddaughter I taught her how to make webs. I also used them in college. Very useful.

  2. Great idea I like mind maps.

  3. I learned mind webbing in school but now that I have discovered the rules of Mind Mapping I prefer the latter. Simple rules that create profound effects. For example, writing on the line instead of creating a new box or circle saves an enormous amount of space. Anything by Tony Buzan is great.


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